VSL Cardinals Notebook: 2010 Week 6

The Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals won six straight this past week to escape last place.

The Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals went on a six-game winning streak to start off the week but ended up losing the last two.  The team climbed out of the basement into a two-way tie for third at a 14-17-1 mark and only six games out.  They are 8-8 at home and 6-9 on the road.


The Cardinals opened this period up with a doubleheader visit to the Pirates.  They clobbered the Bucs, scoring ten runs in the fifth inning and won 15-1.  Jem Argenal, Gerwuins Velazco, and Tharick Martines each drove in two runs apiece.  Silfredo Garcia gave up one run over five innings.


The second game between the two was closer then the previous.  Both team held each other scoreless until the fifth.  The Cardinals got up first putting four runs on the board then in the bottom half the Pirates plated three.  The bullpens put zeros up in the final two frames, giving the Redbirds a 4-3 score, their third straight win.  Jose Gomez had a triple and two RBIs. Jhonatan Escudero pitched four scoreless innings in his first career start.


The Cardinals hosted the Rays in the next game and this was another close one.  The Rays took the 4-3 lead after five innings.  The Redbirds slowly came back adding one in the seventh and then clinched the victory in the bottom of the ninth.  Both teams took advantage of errors committed.  Roberto Canache came through with three scoreless innings to end the game and earn the win.


The Cardinals then went on the road against the Tigers for another nail biter.  The Redbirds scored first and took an early 6-0 lead that held until the eighth.  The Tigers would score seven runs in the next two frames to the Cardinals' one, tying the game at 7-7.  The Cardinals plated one in the tenth and held off the Tigers for an 8-7 win.  Jose Gomez doubled and drove in two runs.  Fermin Montanez struck five out over six scoreless innings.


The Phillies visited in the next contest, with this game not ending in a tie like the last.  The Redbirds plated one run in the fourth and another two in the fifth.  The Phils scored their only run in the sixth and lost 4-1.  Marlon Sucre hit a home run and had three RBIs.  Ramon Ulacio gave up one unearned run over six innings.  Alberth Almeida and Douglas Planchart combined for three hitless and scoreless innings.


After the off day, the Cardinals went on the road to take on the Reds.  The Reds are one of two teams the Redbirds have had a problem tackling all season and this game was no different.  The Reds scored first with three runs in the third then added two more in the sixth and eighth innings, while holding the Cards to just four hits and a run.  The Reds capitalized on the three errors by the Cardinals in the victory.   Marlon Sucre hit a solo home run for the only Redbird run and Dail Villanueva struck out five in his second start of the season.


The Cardinals ended this week's schedule on the visiting side against another problem team, the Mariners.  The M's did their own version of clobbering by scoring three in the first, five in the fourth, and four in the fifth.  The Cardinals used free passes and scored multiple runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings.  The bullpens for each team came through in the end pitching scoreless frames in the final three frames. The Mariners doubled up the Cardinals 12-6.  Breyvic Valera drove in two runs. 



Who's Hot


Limbert Rivas will have a four-game on base streak to add onto in the next week.  The 20-year old right-handed hitter went 11-for-23 (.478) with three double, three RBIs, eight runs, three walks, one hit by pitch, one stolen base, and one strikeout.  He played four games at first (assisted in three double plays), one at third base, and one between the two.  Rivas leads the team in OBP.


Marlon Sucre will have a five-game hitting streak to work on in the next period.  The 20-year old right-handed hitter went 11-for-28 (.393) with one double, two home runs, six RBIs, nine runs, three walks, and three strikeouts.  He played all six games in right field with an outfield assist and committed one missed catch error.  Sucre leads the team in home runs, doubles (tied), and total bases.


Jose Gomez had two multi-hit games in the last week.  The 18-year old right-handed hitter went 7-for-20 (.350) with two doubles, one triple, six RBIs, three runs, seven walks, one sacrifice, three strikeouts, and was picked off.  He played three games behind the plate (one throwing error, one missed catch error, two passed balls, and threw out 2-for-10 base runners) and four as designated hitter. 


Jhohan Acevedo is starting to click at the plate, picking up a hit in eight of his last ten games.  The 17-year old right-handed hitter went 8-for-24 (.333) with one double, one RBI, five runs, four walks, five strikeouts, and grounded into one double play.  He played all six games in centerfield with one outfield assist.  Acevedo has managed to boost his batting average up over the .200 mark.


Breyvic Valera is gradually coming out of his recent slump.  The 17-year old switch-hitter went 6-for-21 (.286) with two doubles, two RBIs, four runs, one walk, one sacrifice, and one strikeout.  He played four games at second base (one missed catch error and assisted in one double play), one at third base, and one between the both (one throwing error and one fielding error).  Valera leads the team in runs scored, hits, doubles (tied), triples (tied), SLG, and OBP.


Jem Argenal collected two multi-hit games during the week before cooling off.  The 18-year old left-handed hitter went 7-for-25 (.280) with four doubles, three RBIs, four runs, four walks, two hit by pitches, five strikeouts, and one caught stealing.  He played two games at first base (assisted in one double play), three in left field, and two between the both.


Ramon Ulacio finally received enough run support to earn his first winning decision and made his third straight solid start for the team.  The 19-year old right-handed made his latest start on June 23, pitching six innings and allowing four hits, one unearned run, struck two out, and pitched one runner off.  His ground out-to-fly out ratio was an impressive 13-to-1.  Ulacio leads the team in innings pitched.


Fermin Montanez made it three consecutive starts without allowing a run.  The 19-year old right-hander tossed six scoreless only giving up two hits, hitting one batter, throwing one wild pitch and striking out a season-high five on June 22.  His ground out-to-fly out ratio was 9-to-3.  He leads all starters with a 2.17 ERA.


Silfredo Garcia came through with his second straight effective start for the VSL Cardinals.  The 18-year old right-hander pitched on June 20th allowing five hits, one earned run, struck one out, and even assisted in one double play for the winning decision.  His ground out-to-fly ratio was 7-to-4.


Douglas Planchart put together two scoreless relief outings for the team this past week, making it four in a row.  The 18-year old right-hander was called during the June 21st contest giving up one hit, no runs, and one walk over an inning and a third.  He then tossed a scoreless inning on June 23rd, striking one out for his first career save.  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 4-to-1 and kept his only inherited runner on base during the week.  Planchart leads all relievers in innings pitched and strikeouts.



The Happenings


John DeAguas and Jose Martinez are still out of action this season.


Edubray Ramos made his return to action on June 22nd after missing a little over a month.  He pitched two-thirds of an inning allowing three hits, four runs (three earned), one walk, and one strikeout.


Vicente Campos (Former MiLB Signing-Mariners) has made six starts posting a 4-0 record, 2.15 ERA, and one save.  He's allowed 22 hits, nine runs (seven earned), seven walks, and struck out 28 over 29.1 innings.


In Ben Badler's June 21st international notebook he reports that Colombian Pedro Perez has started working out with Edgar Mercedes (Wagner Mateo's trainer/agent) and has interest from the New York Mets and Houston Astros.  The Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds have been connected to Venezuelan left-hander Angel Mejias, who also pitched for the country in the World Youth Championships last August in Taiwan.  In his June 23rd Baseball America article he posts that Venezuelan third baseman Renato Nunez has interest from the Oakland Athletics and Venezuelan shortstop Anderson Gonzalez has been connected to the Philadelphia Phillies.



Venezuelan Summer League Stats


The Cardinals are batting .258 (third in the league) with a .350 OBP (third), .345 SLG (fifth), and .695 OPS (fourth).  The team is first in runs scored, doubles, and RBIs (tied); second in hits, walks, and strikeouts; fourth in total bases; fifth in triples and home runs; and seventh (last) in stolen bases.


The Cardinals pitching has a 4.60 ERA (seventh) and 1.39 WHIP (fifth).  The team ranks first in shut outs (tied), earned runs, and hit batters (tied); second in runs allowed; third in losses (tied) and hits allowed; fourth in wins (tied) and strikeouts; fifth in saves and walks allowed; and seventh in home runs allowed.


Breyvic Valera is fourth in batting average, second in runs, third in hits, tied for third in doubles, tied for seventh in triples, fourth in total bases, sixth in OBP, sixth in SLG, and seventh in OPS.

Limbert Rivas is seventh in batting average, tied for sixth in walks, fifth in OBP, and ninth in OPS.

Marlon Sucre is tied for seventh in runs, tied for sixth in hits, tied for third in doubles, tied for third in home runs, tied for fourth in RBIs, tied for second in total bases, and eighth in SLG.

Jem Argenal is tied for tenth in hits, tied for fifth in doubles, tied for seventh in triples, tied for eighth in home runs, tied for fourth in RBIs, and tied for sixth in total bases.

Jose Gomez is tied for seventh in triples.

Gerwuins Velazco is tied for eighth in home runs, third in RBIs,and fifth in walks.

Lainer Bueno is tied for second in walks.

Fermin Montanez is fifth in ERA, ninth in inning pitched, third in WHIP

Ramon Ulacio is tenth in ERA, eighth in innings pitched, ninth in WHIP

Roberto Canache is tied for seventh in wins

Deimer Bier is tied for seventh in wins, second in strikeouts

Anderson Gerdel, Alberth Almeida, Ismael Brito, Jhonatan Escudero, and Geudy Guerra are tied, with others, for seventh in saves



Up Next (2010 Record, vs. Cardinals)


June 27: Pirates (19-10, 0-3)

June 28: @ Rays (14-18, 3-2)

June 29: Tigers (13-19, 3-3)

June 30: @ Phillies (13-16-1, 2-3-1)

July 1: Off Day

July 2: Reds (16-17, 5-1)

July 3: Mariners (20-12, 5-1)



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